Herpes is an opportunity for authenticity. Ultimately, if you are going to have sex with someone, there really should be an intimate connection. Yes, I know I sound like your mother, but sometimes even mom is right. Unfortunately in our culture, sex sometimes seems to be the precursor to intimacy (if intimacy ends up happening at all). So let’s re-frame herpes as an opportunity.

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It’s an opportunity for you to share something private, something that most people would rather just withhold and ignore, something that most people say with shame and expectation of rejection. But you say it with care and honesty. You say it because it is important to you that they know. They are important to you. Sharing that you have herpes shows the person so many positive qualities about you and your strength of character. You don’t wither away waiting for them to reject you, you stand strong knowing that it was your choice on whether to tell them or not, and you chose to go deeper with them. Yes, there are certainly other ways to achieve intimacy, but this is certainly one powerful way. This opens the door to true intimacy because it shows vulnerability while maintaining your confidence in yourself.
So since herpes is an opportunity for authenticity, think of speaking your truth about herpes in the bedroom as a training ground for being authentic beyond herpes out in the world. Interestingly enough, in our wide-open culture of glamor and excess, sex itself is still seen as shameful and something to be hidden. So it naturally follows that something transmitted through sex is seen as doubly shameful. So to be able to speak openly to your partner about herpes only strengthens your resolve to be strong about everything else in your life that you believe in.

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